Biden, Harris ‘bat light’ visits downtown Dayton

Biden / Harris message on the side of a downtown Dayton building. CONTRIBUTED

Multiple office towers and buildings in downtown Dayton on Tuesday night were used as a backdrop for light displays promoting the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris ticket.

The messages, cast from a light projector, appeared on the sides of multiple buildings, including the Grant-Deneau Tower, an office building at 111 W. Third St., the transportation center garage, and Memorial Hall.

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The Biden/Harris messages were produced by a “bat light" belonging to the United Steelworkers, whose staff are touring multiple midwestern states ahead of the upcoming election.

The light display is part of a get-out-the-vote effort, said Jess Kamm, communications director with the United Steelworkers.

“We are trying to shine a light on the need to make a plan to vote,” she said. “And of course, this is to reinforce our endorsement of Biden as the presidential candidate.”

Biden / Harris light display came downtown. CONTRIBUTED

The light displays also carried the United Steelworkers' logo (USW).

United Steelworkers is a union representing 1.2 million members and retirees, including about 5,000 members in the Dayton and Cincinnati region.

The “bat light” is helping get the union’s message out during the COVID-19 crisis, Kamm said.

Hopefully, the light projections help raise awareness about the election, the need to vote and will get people talking about important issues like health care, retirement security and health and safety, she said.

Normally, the union would be out talking to people in person about the election, but the pandemic has limited those activities, she said.

This newspaper reached out to one of the building owners to see if they gave permission for their property to be used this way. They declined to comment.

The city owns at least one of the other properties.

Biden / Harris message at 111 W. First St. CONTRIBUTED

The light displays have led to complaints in other cities.

The owner of the Terminal Tower in Cleveland sent a cease and desist letter after the Biden/Harris message was projected on its façade without authorization.

University of Pittsburgh officials said they asked USW to take down the campaign display that was thrown onto the side a building on campus. USW complied immediately.

Kamm said USW believes the light displays are legal, but they have received a little pushback on their tour.

“We’re not trying to be adversarial with this,” she said. “If people ask us to take it down, we do.”

The bat light will be visiting cities in key states leading up to the election.

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